Music plays a big part in my life. Not quite as essential as food, but pretty close! Most recently, it was the perky strains of a hidden shop stereo that resulted in my discovery of what I consider to be one of Hobart’s most little known, and perhaps under-appreciated coffee shops.
It was early on a Saturday morning, I was between errands and I really didn’t have all that much time on my hands. But as I stepped out of my car onto the Gregory Street pavement, surrounded by seemingly very suburban weatherboard homes, my ears pricked up! After a quick scan of the street I noticed a tiny sign propped up next to a canary yellow bay window, advertising Pa’s Pantry and the lure of coffee, organic produce and homewares inside.
Decisions, decisions…did I have the time? I could always come back another day…?
But no, “bugger it” were my exact thoughts! It was such a gorgeous morning and I was keen for a coffee, so why not take a few minutes to see what was on the other side of the eggshell blue door?
From the outside it looked like your typical old cottage, but on the inside…WOW!!
Warm winter sunlight, was streaming through the windows, bathing the couple to my left in white gold, while in the centre of the room was a large trestle table; fresh, vibrant vegetables, fruit and bread strewn from end to end either loose or in rustic woven baskets and hessian sacks.
Chairs of brown leather and timber in opposing corners, the epitome of 60s luxury!
Craft goods, exotic teas, bushwalker’s ‘beauty’ products, incense, and clothing; draped, placed and hung from every vantage point! All overseen by a pair of very impressive reindeer antlers!
Even the young ‘uns are catered for, with a MASSIVE blackboard spanning half the width of the house and at the perfect height for the graffiti artists of tomorrow to hone their skills! Even I felt tempted to have a scribble it looked that cool!
And on the other side of the spacious room was the adults blackboard advertising a few very tasty sounding organic smoothies and juices.
The two owners were a lovely couple. It was so unfortunate that I was in a little bit of a hurry, as I would have liked to have found out a bit more about Pa’s Raw Pantry…but as their bub snoozed in the cot next to us, I WAS able to discover that the philosophy of their store revolves around concepts such as sustainability, fair trade, and a new one to me…biodynamic food!
It turns out that ‘biodynamic’ food isn’t organic food. It’s close, but fundamentally different in that it goes beyond ‘no herbicides’ to also include the health of the soil itself. I have to admit that on returning home I did a bit of googling and found out that the production of ‘biodynamic’ food also includes a few other rather ‘alternative’ approaches to fertilisation of which I’m a little sceptical…but there’s no harm done, so no problems for me!
Regarding the coffee, it turned out that they had only just taken receipt of a brand new batch of Ethiopian coffee that they hadn’t yet sold to a single customer. I was to be their guinea pig!
It was fantastic! Very different to most other coffees I’ve tried, with some almost fruity undertones to compliment the light, yet slightly bitter coffee flavour. I expressed my delight, and was rewarded with the instructions that as I was their first customer the coffee was on the house. Winning!!
I walked in not knowing what to expect, only to find myself in one of the most beautifully designed and creative spaces that I’ve seen in a long time. The whole room had a very ‘Smith Journal‘ feel to it; hints of suave, meticulous curation, a little bit alternative, yet down to earth. I thought it quite amusing that on making this comment to the owners they admitted that they actually had a copy floating around somewhere!
I loved my all-too-short interlude at Pa’s Raw Pantry. I’m sure you will too!
You can find their blog here, and a more regularly updated Instagram collection here. I neglected to ask if they did meals of any description, but I did spy some sort of cake in the fridge, so that may be a possibility. If one of my lovely readers can help me out regarding this aspect that would be fantastic, otherwise I’ll just have to go back and find out for myself…and that’s not such a bad thing in my books!